I am going to try my best to be careful in this review. Some comics just push you to that breaking point. The breaking point of pure excitement of what is about to happen next or the point where you wonder if there is any hope for true meaning through comic form. Sadly for Spell Checkers, it was the latter of the two. I will be honest and say I should’ve looked into this comic more or even read the other volumes before reviewing this one, but like most lazy people I didn’t. My thinking was to give this a try and hope for a Sabrina the Teenage Witch minus Melissa Joan Hart’s dancing. The comic centers on these three teen girls who possess magical powers. They try to cast spells in order to move up in the high school ranks. OK so far so good. The leader of the pack, Cynthia unexpectedly gets nominated for the school’s court. The girls decide to all go to the dance in hopes of her winning. Cynthia demands that her two gal pals, Kimmie and Jesse, don’t use magic to persuade the other zit poppers to vote for Cynthia. Again, fine start.
The other players include Marlon, your only real Christian in the school, and Claudine, the most popular girl. Right away, you get subtle hints of profane comments made by all the witches. I took it as the comic trying to relate to the more crude reader. WRONG. After the happy-go-lucky announcements and preparations for the dance, the comic takes this leap of perpetual obscurity that can only defined by tastelessness. I was appalled with how wrongfully crude the comic was. The girls are constantly talking about ball sizes, See You Next Tuesdays, STDs and all sorts of other radically rude comments.
The dance is filled with all sorts of personalities and the comic spends a good deal of time bouncing around to the different groups. The witches intervene in about everyone’s lives trying to make their magic the catalyst for humorous embarrassments for their classmates. The worst of it all was when one of the witches is begged by the nerds to make them look cool for one night. I thought this would be a shimmer of hope for the story. WRONG. Jesse just makes fun of the boys all night and calls attention to their lack of coolness through homosexual jokes. Although she does dance with them, she continuously harps on the boys. Honestly, it just pushed the buttons. It made me view the whole comic as this suppression of people.
The dance gets mildly interrupted by a monster made by Jesse. It was a breath of fresh air to see some action while the witches just shut their mouths. Also, the storyline jumps to Claudia and Marlon’s new spark for each other. Even though Claudia is mean too, the thought of her changing for Marlon was sort of the only sweet story along the way. I am still confused on what the theme of this comic was. I tried to take an outside view on the comic, and still I lacked reasoning.
You know in the end, I was disappointed with how the comic portrayed high school. Believe me, high school students do not say these things, and probably some don’t even understand half these words. There aren’t many adults who talk the way these girls do. My hopes in finding a simple TGIF sitcom in this comic was suddenly turned off by its outlandish perversions. I hope we can all agree on that.
Writer: Jamie S. Rich Artist: Nicolas Hitori De & Joelle Jones Publisher: Oni Press Price: $11.99 Release Date: 12/31/13